Inspector-General ADF Afghanistan Inquiry

Welfare support services

the Inspector-General Australian Defence Force (IGADF) Afghanistan Inquiry Welfare Support logo

The Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs care about the welfare of all personnel involved in the Inspector-General Australian Defence Force (IGADF) Afghanistan Inquiry.  We are committed to ensuring there is the right support available for individuals and their families.

Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel who are currently serving and are involved in, or affected by the Inquiry continue to be supported by their chain-of-command and also have access to assistance including mental health, medical, legal, pastoral and social work services.

Please ask for help if you need it.

Veterans and their families

Veterans and their families have access to support from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and the Department of Defence. This includes support for mental health, medical, compensation and income support, transition to civilian life, and, in some cases, legal support. Ex-Service Organisations (ESO) also provide a critical role in supporting our people and their families.

  • Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling Service (1800 011 046) or online at www.openarms.gov.au. Open Arms provides counselling and support programs to ADF personnel and their families and operates a free-call all-hours crisis telephone service as well as providing face-to-face support. The Open Arms website provides information on stress management and assisting children and adolescents. It also provides a portal to a range of specialist mental health and wellbeing resources. Open Arms is not part of the Department of Defence and is entirely confidential.
  • Safe Zone Support (1800 142 072) is a free and anonymous counselling line for current serving ADF personnel, veterans and their families. This service is available 24/7 and provides access to specialised counsellors with an understanding of military culture and experience. The service offers support without the need for individuals to identify themselves or be concerned that their call will be recorded. When you call Safe Zone Support, it is up to you how much or how little personal information you share. For more information please visit the Safe Zone Support webpage
  • Lifeline Australia (13 11 14) is available 24/7 or online at www.lifeline.org.au. Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
  • DVA (1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372)) is available for current and former serving ADF personnel and their families who may wish to access advice, claims and support services provided by DVA.
  • The ADF Health and Wellbeing portal www.defence.gov.au/health/healthportal provides information on a wide range of Defence websites containing information on ADF Health and Mental Health services and supports, as well as links to many useful external resources.
  • A range of ESO’s also provide support to ADF veterans and their families. Details of ESO’s can be found here.

Other key contacts

  • 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or online at www.1800respect.org.au is the national sexual assault domestic family violence counselling service, providing confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Current serving ADF personnel

ADF personnel involved in, or affected by, the IGADF Afghanistan Inquiry continue to be supported by their chain-of-command and also have access to a range of other assistance including mental health, medical, legal, pastoral and social work services.

For current serving ADF personnel welfare support is available through your chain of command; local Defence health facility, unit, base or ship on call chaplain, or your support officer or legal representative. You are also able to access any of the services below.

  • In the event of injury or illness, ADF personnel should call the medical advice triage referral service 1800IMSICK. This service provides nursing level triage and advice regarding appropriate access to health care.
  • Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling Service (1800 011 046) or online at www.openarms.gov.auOpen Arms provides counselling and support programs to ADF personnel and their families and operates a free-call all-hours crisis telephone service as well as providing face-to-face support. ADF personnel can sometimes feel more comfortable reaching out to Open Arms in the first instance as Open Arms is not part of Defence.
  • Lifeline Australia (13 11 14) available 24/7 or online at www.lifeline.org.auLifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
  • Safe Zone Support (1800 142 072) is a free and anonymous counselling line for current serving ADF personnel, veterans and their families. This service is available 24/7 and provides access to specialised counsellors with an understanding of military culture and experience. The service offers support without the need for individuals to identify themselves or be concerned that their call will be recorded. When you call Safe Zone Support, it is up to you how much or how little personal information you share. For more information please visit the Safe Zone Support webpage.
  • The ADF Health and Wellbeing portal www.defence.gov.au/health/healthportal provides information on a wide range of Defence websites containing information on ADF Health and Mental Health services and supports, as well as links to many useful external resources.
  • DVA (1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372)) is available for current and former serving ADF personnel and their families who wish to access advice, claims and support services provided by DVA.

Families of serving ADF personnel

  • All-hours Support Line (1800 628 036), available 24/7. This is a confidential telephone service that provides access to mental health advice and referral for ADF personnel and their families.
  • Defence Family Helpline (1800 624 608), available 24/7 or online at www.defence.gov.au/DCO/Defence-Helpline.asp. The Helpline is staffed by qualified human services professionals including social workers and psychologists.
  • Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling Service (1800 011 046) or online at www.openarms.gov.au. Open Arms provides counselling and support programs to ADF personnel and their families and operates a free-call all-hours crisis telephone service as well as providing face-to-face support. Open Arms is not part of the Department of Defence and is entirely confidential.
  • Safe Zone Support (1800 142 072) is a free and anonymous counselling line for current serving ADF personnel, veterans and their families. This service is available 24/7 and provides access to specialised counsellors with an understanding of military culture and experience. The service offers support without the need for individuals to identify themselves or be concerned that their call will be recorded. When you call Safe Zone Support, it is up to you how much or how little personal information you share. For more information please visit the Safe Zone Support webpage.
  • Employee Assistance Program (1300 687 327), available 24/7 free. EAP is a confidential and professional counselling service available to Defence APS employees, Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) employees, ADF reservists and cadets, officers and instructors of ADF cadets and their immediate families, and their supervisors/managers.
  • Family and dependants of Defence personnel have access to chaplaincy services to receive pastoral care, support or advice. Service chaplains maintain a 24/7 on-call service and have support networks across Australia. To get in touch, Defence personnel or family members can call their unit, base or ship chaplain; or ring the Defence switchboard and ask to speak to the on-call chaplain in their area. For parents of serving ADF personnel, Defence Community Organisation (DCO) has a page for parents at: www.defence.gov.au/DCO/Family/parents-carers.asp.
  • Lifeline Australia (13 11 14) is available 24/7 or online at www.lifeline.org.au. Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
  • The ADF Health and Wellbeing portal www.defence.gov.au/health/healthportal provides information on a wide range of Defence websites containing information on ADF Health and Mental Health services and supports, as well as links to many useful external resources.
  • DCO provides a range of services to the families of current serving personnel.

Other key contacts

  • 1800RESPECT is the national sexual assault domestic family violence counselling service, providing confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1800 737 732 or online at: www.1800respect.org.au.
  • Defence’s Sexual Misconduct and Prevention and Response Office (SeMPRO) provides advice, guidance and support to persons affected by sexual misconduct, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted on 1800 736 776 (1800SeMPRO) or via SeMPRO[at]defence.gov.au.

Legal Assistance for current and former ADF members

Access to appropriate legal assistance is important for the welfare and fair treatment of current and former serving ADF members’ participating in the IGADF Afghanistan Inquiry.

The appropriate scheme for provision of legal assistance depends on an individual’s circumstances and the purpose for which they seek legal assistance.

All enquiries and applications for legal assistance are handled confidentially.

For further information about the provision of legal assistance for the IGADF Afghanistan Inquiry or a related Australian Federal Police investigation, please visit https://afghanistaninquiry.defence.gov.au/legal-assistance

Support posters and flyers

Veteran and community organisations supporting those impacted by the IGADF Afghanistan Inquiry can now download printable A3 posters and DL flyers for use their engagement activities. Each of these items are easily printed on a standard printer and cut lines are included on the DL flyers (three flyers per page).

Former and current serving ADF members:

Families and support networks of the veteran community: 

Each of these items are easily printed on a standard printer and cut lines are included on the DL flyers (three flyers per page).